The hits just keep on coming for CNN’s beleaguered host Chris Cuomo as another female executive producer has come forward and claimed she felt “threatened” by the hotheaded host and begged to leave his show in 2020.
Melanie Buck was the executive producer of “Cuomo Prime Time” from April 2018 until March 2020, when she was replaced by Izzy Povich after reportedly going to CNN boss Jeff Zucker and requesting a transfer to another department due to “significant differences” with Cuomo. Her request was granted.
Multiple sources assert she said that she found his behavior “threatening,” according to Page Six. A former CNN insider told Fox News the producer perceived a “ruin your career type of threat” from Cuomo.
There were also rumors that Buck was given a hefty payoff to keep quiet over the issue. The source who spoke to Page Six denied those rumors.
“I spent two years as EP on Chris’ show and I’m proud to have led it to #1 at CNN. We ultimately had significant differences, and I asked to leave the show. I have moved on and am looking forward to my latest role with CNN+,” Buck stated in an interview with the media outlet. Those differences included Buck reportedly wanting “Cuomo Prime Time” to pursue more long-form interviews while Cuomo wanted more opinion programming.
This seems pretty awful. How many times does @CNN reward this guy?
Melanie Buck felt 'threatened' enough by Chris Cuomo to quit show https://t.co/3HqWl1FRvR
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) September 28, 2021
Buck became an executive producer for the 2020 election coverage, live events, and taped special programming after leaving Cuomo’s show. She is now working on live morning coverage for CNN+, the new subscription streaming service which will launch next year. She has worked with CNN for nearly 18 years, serving as a producer for both CNN anchors Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper.
This latest development follows hot on the heels of a sexual harassment claim by Shelley Ross, a former longtime ABC News executive who was Cuomo’s boss when he worked there. She has accused him of groping her buttocks on June 1, 2005, during a going-away party for a network colleague.
Chris Cuomo apologized in email to ex-boss accusing him of sexual harassment, she has doubts he meant it https://t.co/lfaoFlL9Bu pic.twitter.com/COoI3jHpCp
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 24, 2021
“I was at the party with my husband, who sat behind me on an ottoman sipping his Diet Coke as I spoke with work friends. When Mr. Cuomo entered the Upper West Side bar, he walked toward me and greeted me with a strong bear hug while lowering one hand to firmly grab and squeeze the cheek of my buttock,” she recounted in a scathing New York Times op-ed.
“I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss,” he told her. “’No you can’t,’ I said, pushing him off me at the chest while stepping back, revealing my husband, who had seen the entire episode at close range. We quickly left,” Ross wrote.
Cuomo denies the encounter was “sexual in nature” and he has apologized to Ross.
CNN has stayed silent on the allegations and no action has been taken against Cuomo yet. Ross accused CNN of not being “interested in accountability.” Many feel it is just a matter of time now until Cuomo is fired.
Tucker: ‘Pig’ Chris Cuomo ‘clearly getting fired’ over Shelly Ross groping claim because ‘there’s a lot more’ https://t.co/Bssj5tLND0 pic.twitter.com/5GvIyodgHS
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 26, 2021
Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple is calling out CNN for the “hush” at the network over Cuomo.
“It looks as if CNN is going to leave the matter there,” he stated. “Thus far, the network’s PR operation has yet to issue a statement about how the company views the matter. On his Friday night program, Cuomo himself didn’t mention the story. Nor did host Brian Stelter on the Sunday media show ‘Reliable Sources.’ (The ‘Reliable Sources’ newsletter — a joint venture of Stelter and CNN’s Oliver Darcy — did cover the controversy.)”
Wemple claimed CNN has “reveal[ed] the network’s priorities” in how it’s responded to scandals involving Cuomo.
“If CNN can speak up — however tepidly — about journalism ethics, can’t it offer even a token statement about sexual harassment? Surely the network would be exploding with commentary if the same claim surfaced against a host on a certain competing cable-news network,” he noted.
Wemple wrote last week, after Ross charged Cuomo with sexual harassment, that the allegation proves that the CNN Star is a “#MeToo hypocrite.”
Cuomo is not feeling the love these days on social media either:
It really is incredible, Janice, how that family’s members are shielded from responsibility for their own actions. Disgraceful!
— Becca Lower (@BeccaJLower) September 28, 2021
Fredo’s family tradition.
— David Owen (@DavidOwenBail) September 28, 2021
Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
— Kevin Lamoureux (@kevindlamoureux) September 28, 2021
Both brothers are just terrible people.
— James R. (@JamesHRIV) September 28, 2021
The entire #Coumo family are disgusting dirtbags if @Cnn had any sense they would can this #POS immediately
— TopFuelRocks (@RocksFuel) September 28, 2021
He may have sexually harassed her other times, but her description of his “grabbing her ass” was sexual assault, and should be treated as such. His doing it in front of her husband just makes Cuomo even more of a low-life…
— Viva Roma (@natenastysmith1) September 28, 2021
CNN is a disgrace.
— Debra (@DeeTripp) September 28, 2021
The Guido Brothers molesters mafia.
— Dean Ritzman ✝️🇺🇲 (@Dean_Ritzman) September 28, 2021
Runs in the family.
— Serious Trickster (@EvolutionGlobe) September 28, 2021
Fredo still has a job because he knows where the bodies are buried & is perfectly capable of making that public if they fire him.
Otherwise, there’s really no other rational explanation for keeping him.
— Giuseppe Franco (@viperstrike74) September 28, 2021
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